On February 24th 2016 multi-award-winning technology company Eyetease turns six years old. The past six years have seen Eyetease grow from an ambitious 24-year-old’s idea, to a multimillion dollar world-class technology company. Founder Richard Corbett’s entrepreneurial journey hasn’t been easy: the early days were spent renting out his bedroom to fund a website, and standing in the rain worrying whether this new technology could work. Since then Eyetease has changed laws, secured contracts with the world’s biggest players in the market and forever changed London’s iconic taxi and cityscape.
2015 was another landmark year for the technology company. Eyetease are now the sole technology provider for the world’s largest LCD taxitop network. The company has graduated from TechHub at Google Campus and invested in a 2,500 square foot dedicated R&D facility. The Eyetease team has doubled in size and is forecast to double again in 2016. Eyetease has run workshops on innovation for the BBC and KPMG, in addition to regular presentations at the House of Commons to senior politicians and MPs. Eyetease founder Richard Corbett even featured in Bloomberg, the Telegraph and more. For their achievements, Eyetease was nominated for four awards in 2015.
August 2015 saw Eyetease win the coveted HP Go Global “Next Breakthrough Exporter” Award, in partnership with Enterprise Nation and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). George Brasher, Vice President and General Manager HP UK and Ireland said, “The launch of the HP Go Global Awards represents HP’s continued commitment to promote the best achievements of the UK’s SMBs and to celebrate their innovation and significant contribution to the UK economy.” The Telegraph’s Hugh Wilson endorsed Eyetease’s win as “well deserved” and expressed his excitement at what Eyetease could create next: “From here the world beckons!” TechWorld’s Margi Murphy agreed that the technology company was “an exciting prospect.”
As a result of winning, Eyetease Commercial Director, Carl McGregor, was sent on a trip to Shanghai to explore the Chinese market and better understand the possibility of growth within this very unique space. The Mission was organised by Enterprise Nation and sponsored by Paypal, HSBC, HP and UKTI. Discussing his experience, McGregor explained, “Spending this time with a group of driven and hungry entrepreneurial people generated a stimulating and creative atmosphere throughout the mission to China.”
McGregor went on to say, “The opportunity to meet with Rt Hon Lorde Maude (Minister of State for Trade and Investment) was a personal highlight and the time spent at ‘China Accelerator’ receiving presentations from the successful foreign entrepreneurs operating in China, was an eye opening experience. Exporting into China is potentially a complex and multifaceted process, the HP/Enterprise Nation mission did a fantastic job of building a schedule of events and meetings that covered many of the aspects that must be considered when building your international growth strategy.”
October saw Eyetease founder and CEO Richard Corbett shortlisted for the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA) 2015, for “Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year”. The award celebrates ‘best of British’ business leaders who fearlessly persevere and innovate – and as a company that proudly designs, develops and assembles in the UK, Eyetease was delighted to win Bronze. The GBEA ceremony was hosted by celebrity entrepreneur Caprice Bourret, and Eyetease was proud to sit alongside nominees such as TheLADbible’s Alex Partridge, and Diary Doll’s Carol Smillie.
November’s Startup Awards were another highlight, and this time Eyetease won Silver in two categories: “Innovative Business of the Year”, and “Lean Start-up of the Year”. The Startup Awards were judged by an illustrious panel including Dragons’ Den star Touker Souleyman; Cath Kidston MBE; Innocent Drinks co-founder Jon Wright; and Elizabeth Varley, CEO of TechHub and friend of Eyetease. In the same month Eyetease was proud to be a finalist in the “Digital Champion” category of the Lloyds Bank Growing Business Awards.
While 2015 was an incredible year for Eyetease, the fast-growing technology company has set their sights on an even bigger and better 2016. The company’s growing team of new hires and dedicated R&D facility will help Eyetease aggressively accelerate New Product Development. The technology company has set ambitious targets, intending to take one disruptive product to market every year. With an ever increasing list of accolades, there is no doubt that Eyetease will continue to pioneer innovation in London and beyond. Here’s to 2016!